GUEST POST: 3 Common Mistakes that Even the Smartest Staffing Executives Can Make Published by Mary Ann McLaughlin - April 4, 2018 You aren’t growing even close to the rate that the staffing industry is averaging. You are not hitting your profit targets. Your recruiters want more resources, but your budget doesn’t support it. You want to hire the best people in the industry. However, you can’t afford them right now. “There is no silver bullet.” How many times have you heard that, or even said that, when discussing such organizational problems and challenges? Right now, I want you to think of your perfect customer. Bring to mind the great relationship you have with that client along with the revenue and profit that your company enjoys as a result. What problem are you solving for them? Beyond filling job orders… what deep-seated needs and deficits is your team helping the client to fill? Where are you bringing confidence and clarity to their organization that would otherwise be a costly blind-spot? Now, do your best to imagine that you have hundreds or thousands more of this perfect client, and your organization is delivering your products or services to all of them and enjoying the same strong and profitable relationship. You know there are absolutely plenty of potential customers out there that have the exact same problem(s) and you can provide the solutions and the talent to solve them. And because of that, there really is a silver bullet. Ready? Solve your customers’ problems and you’ll solve your own™ With that, here are 3 common mistakes that even the smartest executives can make that prevent them from solving their customer’s problems and how to avoid them: Mistake #1: Not talking about your customers After several successful years in sales and strategic sales management, I was so excited to have earned a promotion to the Senior Leadership Team. I was looking forward to making an even larger contribution to the growth of the organization as a result. We had several team meetings/calls every week; us C-Level people clearly had a lot to talk about… We had many organizational problems to solve. We discussed the p/l, people issues, productivity, legal risk, cost cutting, and economic changes. On and on, hour upon hour. After about five weeks of this, I couldn’t take it any more, and I simply interrupted the meeting and said, “are we EVER going to talk about a customer?”. The team was stunned. It was true. We were so inwardly focused on solving our problems that we forgot about solving our customers’ problems – and guess what? We weren’t. Mistake #2: Not talking with your customers I mean really talk WITH your customers. So many times, we leave it up to sales and recruiting to talk to our customers. See number 1. The senior team is busy with all the internal problems. Consider this, if you have any manager in your organization who does not talk with your customers on a regular basis, then you are not aligned to solve their problems. You can experience great innovation and growth by implementing a requirement that every department leader throughout the organization had a call with a customer every week. Ask your shared services staff (accounting, hr, etc.) to get on a call with at least one of your customers every week and talk WITH them. Connect and find out what their problems might be whether or not your company is positioned to solve them (btw – you probably are). And – wow! The things you’ll uncover. One of the easiest ways to tee up these conversations is through a consistent Net Promoter Score Survey process and follow-up plan. Mistake #3: Not talking about the problems your company solves I am certain that your perfect client is one where you have solved their problem(s) through delivering great talent, a great solution or a value-added service. Your sales and marketing approach must focus on talking about the problems you solve, not the product or service you deliver. Customers buy solutions, not people. Let’s take a simple example: Butler Street doesn’t sell training or consulting. We sell growth. We help companies and their people grow – solving the problem of lack of desired growth. Symptoms of this problem are evident in several areas including low client retention, lack of talent bench-strength and depressed margins. Get very clear on the problems your organization solves (see number 2) and take the time to educate your clients and potential clients on how your company solves them. Solve your customers’ problems and you’ll solve your own™ Interested in learning how to communicate your value and begin to experience growth in less than 30 days. You may be interested in how Butler Street’s approach grows businesses! Click here to get the conversation started.